Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 08:48 UK

Plans for 60m rail link unveiled

Network Rail want to build what would effectively be a flyover on the track at Hitchin

A railway bridge costing about £60m is planned for a bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line in Hertfordshire.

Network Rail has applied to the Department for Transport to build the section of railway near Hitchin.

It is designed to take the line to Cambridge and King's Lynn in Norfolk over the London to Scotland line.

Currently trains travelling between London, Cambridge and King's Lynn cross three lines to switch from the East Coast Main Line.

Network Rail said this bottleneck reduces capacity and makes the railway less reliable when delays occur.

'Reduce delays'

The new rail link would avoid these problems, cutting delays to train services by nearly 18,000 minutes every year.

It would also help create the capacity to run more services to and from the capital every hour.

Richard Lungmuss, route director, Network Rail said: "The investment we are planning in the Hitchin area is about improving transport links, reducing delays to passengers and increasing the number of services.

"Rail users in Hitchin and the length of the country will feel the benefits of this scheme as we remove the biggest remaining pinch point on the East Coast Main Line."

Network Rail said it had consulted with local authorities in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and the local communities.

Mr Lungmuss said: "We will continue to work closely with the local community to understand and address any concerns they might have."

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